The day started off quite normal, up at 0445 and off to work an hour later. I felt fine during the ride into work and, as usual, took part in the early “going to work net” on the VE3FRG repeater.
However……about 20 minutes into my shift I started to get chest pains, not good I thought. Anyway, like an idiot, I stuck it out for a while….that is until my boss took one look at me and called 911. Within a few minutes two Military Policemen and an ambulance showed up, and I was off on a great adventure to Kingston General Hospital (KGH)!!
I cannot say enough about the level of care, and the way I was treated, by the staff at KGH, first class all the way……even after they realized I wasn’t having the big one. It turned out that one of my medications had stopped working. They found out that my body had built up immunity to it and it no longer works for me. The result of it not working was a very uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest, exactly like a heart attack.
So, here’s a question for all you SOTA and portable QRP guys……considering some of the very remote spots you guys end up operating at, could you recognize the signs of a heart attack, and more to the point, would you know how to handle the situation? Most of the places we go are a long way from a hospital with a long response time, and time is precious in these situations.
The American Heart Association and other medical experts say the body likely will send one or more of these warning signals of a heart attack:
• Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
• Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.
• Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
• Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.
• Paleness or pallor.
• Increased or irregular heart rate.
• Feeling of impending doom.
Not all of these signs occur in every attack. Sometimes they go away and return. If some occur, get help fast. If you notice one or more of these signs in yourself or others, don't wait……Call emergency medical services (9-1-1) right away!
We should all know these signs, it may save a life....even yours!